May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month or DIAM. What does Disability awareness mean to you? Awareness might mean different things to different individuals. As an adviser disability insurance is not something often talked about. When compared to life insurance and even long term care, individual disability insurance and subsequent products are not discussed or presented to clients as much as they should. Awareness comes in three parts, 1 educating ourselves, 2. Educating our clients, 3. Being able to understand the companies and their languages
Think about when you last presented an individual disability policy? In my seminars and webinars I always ask who has presented an individual disability policy in the last month, 90 days, and 6 months, usually in a room of 20 or more 1 – 2 agents raise their hand for 6 months, 1 for 90 days and usually zero for last 30 days. Thus, awareness needs to start with us, the agents.
I am focusing on individual disability insurance because a lot of workers have group insurance available, although a recent study by LIMRA from 2019, shows that less than 3% of all eligible workers have either group or individual disability coverage, and less than 1% have proper coverage they need.
With DIAM coming up in MAY, what are you doing to talk to your clients about their income protection? Some of you may not have a practice where you work with working age individuals, but those that do should be having this discussion. The second part is educating our clients about their current plans and their missed opportunities.
There are a lot of ways to do this but simply changing the language from disability to income protection seems to be more effective and clients more willing to listen. Making clients aware of the difference in language between an individual contract and their group contracts, as well as some of the limitations their groups contracts might have is important.
Finally, the third part of awareness can be the most difficult. There are not as many Di companies out there as there used to be, but there are still several. Each one has different types of contracts, pricing, and the language in those contracts can be different as well. Thus there is a lot of work to look at and find the right contract for your client. Lets strive in May and before May to be come aware of Disability insurance and identify how we can help make our clients aware as well.
If you have any questions or I can be of assistance to point you to some resources, please reach out to me at 512-680-6851 or firstname.lastname@example.org